What is Airband (Aviation Band) on a Radio?

© Frankljunior | Dreamstime.com – Air Traffic Control Tower And An Airplane Photo

This has become a popular question with our new CC Skywave™.

According to Wikipedia, Airband, also referred to as Aircraft or Aviation band, is a group of frequencies in the VHF radio spectrum that are allocated to civil aviation radio communications. VHF is a short range, line of site transmission. Our radio covers 118 – 137MHz for Airband. In most countries a license is required to operate airband equipment but that appears to apply only to transceivers, not receivers. In some countries it is illegal to listen to or monitor the Airband without authorization (even in the UK).

The language that is used to communicate on this band can be a challenge to follow. Ken Hoke’s article on Stuff Pilots Say, gives some great insight into the meaning of the seemingly cryptic language used on Airband.

The primary purpose of Air traffic control worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots. It was difficult to find any “history” of airband but it appears that it was first used extensively after World War I and after 1921 at Croydon airport in London. Navigation and air traffic control have changed over time and many areas use higher frequencies and RADAR and other more sophisticated systems. The Airband radio frequencies still continue to play a part though, especially in ground communication with pilots. It is used almost exclusively in small airports that don’t have control towers. We have one customer who plans to use the CC Skywave for monitoring the ground to pilot communication at the local air races.

As to why we decided to include Airband in our radio? Here is Bob’s answer:

“When you are in a big airport you are sometimes subject to the whims of security and circumstance. TSA does a great job but when the process gets a little tense I yearn for more information. I want to know everything that will affect my tiny domain. When you listen to aviation band you can usually figure out more by reading between the lines on what pilots and the control tower are talking about. Sometimes you gain a sense of power and wisdom as you do with any knowledge.”

For more information on what you might hear or how to listen, visit the links below.

http://radio-scanner-guide.com/radioscannerguidepart3c-civilaircraft.htm

http://www.wikihow.com/Listen-to-Your-Local-Air-Traffic-Control

 

The Month for Thanksgiving

begrateful

This is the month to reflect on all that we have and what we are truly grateful for, to get in the spirit we wanted to find out which radio show, host or station you are most thankful for! Enter in the comments below and be entered to win the product of your choice (excluding the AEGO sound systems).  Drawing will be held November 30th. Please one entry per person.

Decide for Yourself

We would love to tell you all the reasons you might enjoy the CC Skywave Radio, but our customers are so much better at it.

skwyavetravel

Sorensen – Much better than anticipated
Pros: Everything about this little jewel is Pro. I have been using this for past 6 months and nothing has disappointed. I also use to check on aviation weather at local airport before I got to fly our aircraft. As an added bonus the tonal quality is amazing for such a small unit.

Cons: No Cons that I can think of.

Best Uses: Both music and spoken word. Also very good for NOAA weather.

M Mooney – Great Emergency / Travel Radio
This feature packed radio best satisfied my need for an emergency type radio. I live in hurricane and tornado country, so the weather band was a must have feature during power outages. My Skywave arrived the same day as an expensive pair of Marshall earbuds. Although not perfect, the CCrane earbuds trounced the Marshalls in every way. Quality FM stations will have your toes tapping. Problem FM stations aren’t magically transformed into powerhouses…. …Skywave does a fine job with any reasonable signal. I can imagine others would like an external antenna connection. That’s fair, but this IS a pocket radio and not a full feature desktop entertainment system. About the only major item on my wish list for the Skywave would a rubberized Otterbox like case for the inevitable drops that will occur. Overall I am exceptionally pleased with this radio. It easily covers all of my must have features in a well thought out, compact package. I believe it would be the perfect answer for many people.

Pros: Size, Weather Band, Battery Strength Indicator, Signal Strength Indicator, Ability to charge [rechargeable] batteries, Handy Keyboard Lock, Quality Earbuds, Time and Radio Presets retained on battery change

Cons: Average Sensitivity, No AC Adapter, No Batteries, Built-in speaker sound

Best Uses: Beach, Boating, Hunting, Camping, Emergency, Natural Disaster

S Lowry – The Greatest
Went on the wait list for this one to be shipped as soon as available. I’ve had several Grundigs, Kaitos and others, but the Skywave trumps all, especially with the aviation band, battery efficiency, panel layout and more. Look at the other reviews: there are a lot of good reasons for so many 5 stars.

C Stacks – Better then expected! A big smile on my face.
6:30 PM yesterday attached 20 ft long wire and counted 58 readable shortwave stations. Also able to rcv aircraft from several airports with the radio’s antenna. C CRANE please make a Sky II that covers the HF ham frequencies!!!!

Pros: Great Reception on all bands, Does not drift, Speaker does a great job even better with head phones

Cons: None except ssb is missing

Best Uses: With me all the time

H Alexander – The Ultimate Travel Radio
After putting this radio through all the paces, I am convinced that it’s quite possibly the ultimate travel radio! I am particularly impressed with the performance of the AM and SW bands. And I really appreciate the precision offered with the thumbwheel volume control, as well. Thanks for another great product, my 6th purchase from CCrane. I have yet to be disappointed!

Sharonon – Worth it.
Now my father-in-law can listen to his baseball games inside and not have to drive to a clearing on the mountain’s side. Great buy and great price.

C Desmaraison – Buy this radio.
Reception is outstanding. I am in MA and am able to receive Beijing Radio International, Radio Romania and Radio Havana Cuba just to mention a few. I also use their 23 foot clip-on wire antenna to increase reception. Radio is easy use and has many useful features. C.Crane customer service is also outstanding. Buy this radio.

There you have it folks, a wide variety of different users and uses. If you aren’t sure if this is the right radio, contact us and we’d be happy to help you determine which radio is best for you. A good starting point is our article on “Buying the Right Radio for You”. Don’t forget, we offer a no risk 60 day money back guarantee on all of our radios!

What the Heck is Airband?

The CC Skywave™ has prompted a lot of curiosity on “what might I hear on Airband?”.

dreamstime_xs_53714561

The primary purpose of Air traffic control worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and provide information and other support to pilots. It was difficult to find any “history” of airband but it appears that it was first used extensively after World War I and after 1921 at Croydon airport in London.

The Airband radio frequencies play a critical part for all civilian aviation including every flight you have been on. All flights use radio to be cleared for takeoff, landing and changes during the flight to avoid accidents or conflicts. Conversations can be dry, lively, funny or dramatic. We have one customer using the CC Skywave to monitor the ground to pilot communication at the local air races.

Navigation and air traffic control have changed over time and many areas use additional sophisticated systems to help prevent accidents.

According to Wikipedia, Airband, also referred to as Aircraft or Aviation band, is a group of frequencies in the VHF radio spectrum that are allocated to civil aviation radio communications. VHF is a short range, line of site transmission. Our radio covers 118 – 137MHz for Airband. In most countries a license is required to operate airband equipment but that appears to apply only to transceivers, not receivers. In some countries it is illegal to listen to or monitor the Airband without authorization (even in the UK).

The language that is used to communicate on this band can be a challenge to follow. Ken Hoke’s article on Stuff Pilots Say, gives some great insight into the meaning of the seemingly cryptic language used on Airband. His tips on a few basic phrases will really help you understand what is being said. Another great article by Ken is “How Pilots Communicate

Why we decided to include Airband in our radio… Here is Bob Crane’s answer:

“When you are in a big airport you are sometimes subject to the whims of security and circumstance. TSA does a great job but when the process gets a little tense I yearn for more information. I want to know everything that will affect my tiny domain. When you listen to aviation band you can usually figure out more by reading between the lines on what pilots and the control tower are talking about. Sometimes you gain a sense of power and wisdom as you do with any knowledge.”

For more information on what you might hear or how to listen, visit the links below.

http://radio-scanner-guide.com/radioscannerguidepart3c-civilaircraft.htm

http://www.wikihow.com/Listen-to-Your-Local-Air-Traffic-Control

Tell us your best travel story to be entered to win a CC Skywave. One entry per person. Winner will be drawn on March 1st.

Congratulations to Clifford Milner the winner of the CC Skywave Radio!

If you’d like to be extremely entertained, read the comments from last year’s entries about their best airline story https://news.ccrane.com/2015/02/17/what-is-airband-aviation-band-on-a-radio/#comments

And the winner of the CC Skywave Radio is…

© Frankljunior | Dreamstime.com - Air Traffic Control Tower And An Airplane Photo

© Frankljunior | Dreamstime.com – Air Traffic Control Tower And An Airplane Photo

Thank you all for your participation in our What is Airband (Aviation Band) on a Radio? blog post. There were a lot of wonderful comments and stories submitted. So many that we wish we had time for honorable mentions. Thank you all! If you didn’t have a chance to read some of the comments, we highly recommend taking a peek 🙂

We won’t leave you hanging any longer…. and the winner of What is Airband (Aviation Band) on a Radio? Tell us your best airline story isKathleen B Amptmann! Kathleen will receive the CC Skywave Radio

Wahoo Kathleen! Thank you for your great and entertaining story. It had everyone here at C. Crane in both stitches and ready to heave 🙂 It was fantastic, thank you!

Kathleen B Amptmann Says:

‘I was a 20 year old “Stewardess” back when Ozark Airlines was still flying. On one of my first flights (only 1 cabin crew per flight), working the DC3, a nice elderly man pushed the overhead help button for the second time. I had retrieved a sick bag from him earlier in the flight.
When flying in the old DC3 prop planes there were always more than a few sick bags to be collected. Procedure was to store them back in the “blue room” for the ground service folks to remove on the next stop. I guessed the gentleman had another bag for me to stow. This leg of the trip had been rough & there were about 8 other such bags lined up against the wall. When I got to the mans seat I had to lean down to hear what he was saying. When it dawned on me what his request was I almost reached for my own bag. Seems he had accidentally lost his false teeth into the bag I had already picked up. He needed his teeth & wanted me to check his bag & bring them back to him!
I explained that would be difficult as he wasn’t the only one who was airsick! He understood my dilemma. Fortunately he agreed to check the bags if I brought them to him, 2 at a time!
I felt sorry about his mishap but lucky for him, he located them in the 4th bag…it could have been worse! To this day, every time I remember this event I smile & then go wash my hands!’

The Reviews Are In

We thought you might like to see what others are saying about the CC Skywave. It’s one thing when we tell you what we think, but it’s a whole different story when customers and media give you their feedback. Below are a few highlights.

Customer Reviews:

The Ultimate Travel Radio

After putting this radio through all the paces, I am convinced that its quite possibly the ultimate travel radio! I am particularly impressed with the performance of the AM and SW bands. And I really appreciate the precision offered with the thumbwheel volume control, as well. Thanks for another great product, my 6th purchase from CCrane. I have yet to be disappointed!

By H Alexander, Franklin, TN

Love my new CC Skywave!

I absolutely love my new CC Skywave radio. I own several CC radios including the CC Radio2, Observer and SW Pocket. Although l really have enjoyed my SWP, the Skywave has made several improvements on the SWP design. The rotary volume knob and adding Airband frequencies to name a few. I work in aviation so I really love being able to scan the Airband and save them to memory. I was able to pull in a couple of nearby airports in my area right from my house. The ATS function is also handy as well especially for shortwave. Speaking of shortwave, what a great performer for such a little radio. Just sitting in my living room, downstairs…. I was able to pull in at least 10 SW stations. CC Radio has made another outstanding product and it is perfect for travel. I take my SWP on all my hikes and campouts and I will now be taking along my Skywave. A lot of radio and versatility in one great little package. Great job CC RADIO!!!!
By MB
PLEASANTON, CA

You can view more reviews on our website or on Amazon.com

Media Reviews:
about-techCC Skywave Radio – Portable and Powerful
The CC Skywave Radio continues the quality I have seen from C. Crane and when you’re buying a radio like this, for outdoor or emergency use, it’s important to know that your investment is appropriate. I already have a crank-radio for emergencies but, I’m adding the CC Skywave to my readiness supplies because it makes sense to have this more powerful, yet lightweight resource.
By Corey Deitz
Radio Expert
About Tech

Review of the CC Skywave Portable Radio
…all in all, the CC Skywave is a excellent little radio. Indeed, in terms of the ultra-compact portable market (models like I included in a recent shoot-out), I think it’s one of the best surprise performers I’ve seen in the past couple of years.
The SWLing Post

C. Crane CC Skywave
radio-jay-allen

The CC Skywave Radio is a fun radio to own and use. Its combination of great performance, ease of use, small size plus the inclusion of Weather and Air bands in addition to AM/FM/SW make it an unusually useful traveling companion. Highly recommended!
RadioJayAllen

Tell us your favorite feature on the CC Skywave.

Insider Insights on the CC Skywave

CC-SKYWAVE_frontWhen traveling I find radio infinitely more satisfying than watching hotel room TV. Hotel radios rarely work at all on AM and figuring out how to run them could be entertaining but I am usually much too tired to find humor in it. Placing the Skywave near or on a window sill always produces acceptable results.

Discovering a good small travel radio can be difficult. Reception and audio are sometimes sub-par because of the small size. The keys and knob can also be difficult to operate (especially at night) for the same reason. We made the Skywave with usability in mind rather than features for “features” sake. Performance is good enough to gain my vote over a $300.00 radio I once traveled with. The only accessory you might want is a Portable Shortwave antenna depending on where you are traveling.

The Skywave is small enough for a trip anywhere in the world. It is easily switched to another country’s format. Two AA batteries last an amazing 70 hours. I love the Skywave for how easy it is to use at night.

All travelers eventually get delayed at an airport. The air band can be a real informer when traveling. The cryptic language used by pilots and air traffic control is very interesting. The word “heavy” is used for an aircraft on approach that is over 300,000 pounds and generates substantial wake turbulence. One time I heard our latest gate number change over the air and my wife and I got to sit in real chairs for the first time in four hours.

When traveling you need a radio to fit into a crevice of a carry on. Having one with top performance makes it wonderful.